The primary objective of any business is to earn money, and it should be achieved by whatever means necessary (providing they are not prohibited by law.) But it is not enough to produce quality goods or provide first-class services to meet that goal. You need customers for your business to succeed. And their acquisition is exactly what marketing fundamentally does.
What Is Marketing?
According to a dictionary definition, marketing is a package of measures to create, promote, and provide a product to customers for the benefit of the enterprise. In other words, it is a special view of all business activities in terms of the market, its laws, needs, and habits. There is one simple fundamental idea: business needs clients. How to find them, attract them, retain them, inspire and motivate them to make a purchase – these are the questions marketing answers.
In fact, marketing is a much broader concept than it seems at first glance. It has permeated everything about market relations and trade since the very beginning of human history.
Do you inspect shop windows comparing prices? Congratulations, you’re already doing marketing. Are you thinking about asking your supervisor for a bigger salary, because salaries in your field have recently increased? That’s marketing for you as well! Do you want to sell your old wardrobe at an online auction and are examining what the current prices are? Whether you want it or not, you use marketing tools.
For any modern business, whose main goal is to maximize profits, Internet marketing is the basis for successful work. Market research and constant work with the market is necessary for companies in all areas and industries in order to understand the following:
- which actions are positively and negatively perceived by clients?
- how to draw the audience’s attention?
- what is the next step under given circumstances?
- how to prevent a drop in demand for a product or service?
- which articles in the stock range are the most sought after?
- which advertising messages are best received by the audience?
- how to ensure a business growth?
According to research, executives of successful companies constantly monitor the marketing metrics of their businesses to ensure successful operation and stable growth.
What of Marketing are there?
Marketing is a complete science that has been honed by decades of practice, and it has solutions for all facets of business life.
- Stimulating marketing allows you to create demand for a product in which customers are not yet interested (use product placement, work with popular bloggers and mass media to create demand where there is none yet);
- Developing marketing provides a set of tools to strengthen the market and develop customer demand for a service or product (try to guess the customer’s need not yet satisfied by the market and offer an effective solution);
- Supporting marketing does not allow already formed demand to decline, constantly heating up the interest of customers (offer additional promotions, bonuses, and opportunities to boost customer interest);
- Social Media Marketing (SMM) creates and maintains business presence in social networks, making business and customer relationships close and friendly (create business presence in social networks and establish open communication with customers to gain a competitive advantage);
- Remarketing allows you to “pursue” a customer who visited the store and left, and once again offer him exactly what he was already interested in (again show the customer the product he was interested in, but did not buy. That motivates the customer to come back and finish the job);
- Demand can not only be increased but also deliberately pushed down if it significantly exceeds supply or is irrational, unhealthy, or harmful. There are tools for that too: demarketing, counteractive marketing.
Basic marketing metrics
There are many marketing metrics traditionally monitored by business leaders.
- the cost of a client attracted;
- unique visitors;
- ready-to-buy leads attracted through marketing;
- average customer lifetime value (LTV);
- customer retention.
Which of these indicators you should monitor depends on the area and specifics of your business. One thing is obvious – monitoring of marketing metrics is a prerequisite for any successful business.
By constantly monitoring the key indicators of marketing effectiveness, a business can focus on brand promotion and popularization, attracting and retaining customers, increasing profits and scaling up its activities.
Using marketing tools is the only way to operate at today’s market. Absolutely everyone does that. The only question is how effective and efficient this process is.
What is the most important thing about marketing?
There is no single element that is essential in a complex marketing mechanism. But one of the key indicators you should definitely be monitoring is ROMI.
ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment)
It’s an indicator of a return on marketing investment. According to many experts, it is the main one for understanding the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing activities. It shows how much money the business has received from each dollar invested in marketing after a planned campaign has passed.
By monitoring this indicator, you can determine which business sectors, goods or services make sense to invest more money in order to increase profits. It is orientation towards market needs and customer behavior that is the most important basic tool of business operation.
What does Marketing do for business?
A thing costs exactly what the buyer is willing to pay for it,
said the Roman poet Publilius Syrus in the first century BC. Both then and now the true value of any product or service is determined not by the cost price, not by the labor costs of the staff, but rather by the opinion of the buyers. What marketing exactly does is the formation and management of customer attitude towards a product or service.
Marketing is the foundation and the driving force of business. It’s like the blood system that feeds all the cells in a living organism. Cut the blood flow off, and the cell will die.
But unlike blood circulation, which should simply be healthy and steady, business marketing can be reassigned for feeding some systems more and others less. It is this very principle that governs a marketing budget allocation: if one area brings more return on investment than the other, then more should be invested in the former. And monitoring that dependence is easier than it looks.
But what exactly is this work aimed at? According to Alex Turnbull, founder of the Groove service, the main task of marketing is to solve customers’ problems. Satisfaction of customers’ needs and the release of their “pain” should be the main focus of all marketing campaigns. It’s the only way for a business to become successful on the market.
Think about promoting and popularizing a business from the user’s perspective. Show him the ad where he’ll be happy with it. Offer an extra service or bonus when he is interested. Suggest leaving a review when it is convenient and understandable for him. With that approach, marketing brings the best results and gives the greatest profit to a business.
How Can Marketing Help?
There are many examples of “marketing miracle”, but one of them is introduced especially often. This is the story of the Buffer app for planning and quick publishing of posts on social networks. Its founder Leo Widrich raised the number of registered users from zero to 100,000 in just 9 months by using content marketing only.
The 60 members of the Buffer team with no office at all still work from around the world and continue to develop the internationally acclaimed service.
Based on all of the above, we can try to answer the question asked in the title of this article: in a way, business doesn’t need marketing. Intrinsically business is marketing in itself.
What will Marketing do specifically for my business?
Through marketing, you can:
- expand your client base;
- create and strengthen the demand level;
- create a well-established, recognizable, and pleasant company image.
Thanks to successful marketing, customers begin to treat the company as if it were an old friend of theirs who never fails them.
The operating principle of efficient marketing resembles a turbocharger in a car engine. The turbine significantly increases the power without increasing the volume of an engine or its fuel consumption. Marketing makes business performance much higher without the need to increase production volumes or the workforce.
Constant monitoring of key marketing indicators (number of attracted customers, number of website new and returning visitors, ROMI, LTV, etc.) allows you to significantly improve business performance and gross profit. In addition to that, it is a very interesting process, much of which can only be learned through experience. Over time, an experienced marketing expert begins to feel what action can bring maximum results at a certain point and for a certain business.
Exactly what kind of Marketing do I need?
In order to determine the specific type of marketing, it is necessary to:
- professionally assess the market situation and the place of a particular product or service within it (in today’s competitive environment for your business to succeed you need to form and convey to the audience the understanding of uniqueness of your product or service, and for that you first need to understand it yourself);
- specify the task that marketing has to perform (marketing can do many different things: increase the number of website visitors, determine an audience profile (pen portrait), identify the strongest and most cost-effective products and effective advertising platforms for their promotion. To get the maximum result, you need to determine what YOU want from marketing);
- shape a marketing strategy (when strategic objectives are defined, think about the main steps you will take to achieve them);
- determine specific steps for its implementation (follow the planned scenario, but do not be afraid to change it when the market requires that action);
- start implementing the strategy (constantly monitor key performance indicators during implementation of marketing campaigns and direct expenditures to the most profitable niches in order to get the maximum result).
During execution of product promotion and customer acquisition activities, it is possible to redistribute efforts, change tactics, experiment, and evaluate actual results. This approach allows you to find the best tools that work best for your product or service and with your target audience.
Efficient Marketing is a must-have for a modern business
Marketing is a modern, efficient tool that allows you to increase efficiency and focus your efforts on attracting customers. It is both an exact science and a fine art, possession of which is vital for a modern business in any area and of any scale. These days, it is not necessary to hire new employees or increase production volumes in order to increase business profits. It is enough to attract target customers, form and maintain their interest in the brand with the help of marketing tools.